Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is one of the largest in the world, and is named after the leader of the Free French Forces. The French general was also the founder of the French Fifth Republic. Another name for this important airport is Roissy, and it has the official IATA code of CDG. In French, it is being refereed to as the Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
The airport began in 1966, when the project known as the Aéroport de Paris Nord, or the Paris North Airport came about. The main building in construction then was the current Terminal 1, and was designed by Paul Andreu, who also played an important role in future expansions of the facilities. CDG was opened for commercial traffic in March 1974, after the construction of the terminal building, which then had ten floors, and was designed in a circular construction. Seven satellite buildings also surrounded the building, each with four gates. The position of Charles de Gaulle Airport was vitally important, as a limited number of possible relocations were available in the area. For this reason, it was allocated a huge piece of land, measuring over thirty-two square kilometres, or twelve and a half square miles. The large grounds allows for major expansion in the future, many of which have already happened, and allows space for the four runways, two of which are over 4,000 metres in length.
The airport is located approximately 25 km, or 16 miles northeast of Paris, France, and spans an area which covers three départements and six communes. These three départements and their communes are as follows: Seine-et-Marne, with the communes of Le Mesnil-Amelot, Mauregard and Mitry-Mory, the Seine-Saint-Denis département with Tremblay-en-France and the Val-d’Oise département, with the communes of Roissy-en-France and Épiais-lès-Louvres. The airport generally consists of three terminals, but Terminal 2 has many smaller extensions. Terminal 1, 3 and parts of Terminal 2 are found in the first département mentioned, while the rest of Terminal 2’s buildings are found in the second département. To the south of CDG is the Parc Naturel regional Oise-Pays de France, and to the west is Goussainville and Cergy. Towards Paris, the suburbs of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Bobigny and Pantin are found, along with another of Paris’ airports, known as the Aéroport de Paris Le Bourget. Another large one found nearby is the Paris-Orly Airport, on the southern side of the city. The main access road for Charles de Gaulle is the A1, running past the terminals, and the N2, which is to the south and eastern sides of the site.
In 2010, Charles de Gaulle Airport handled 58,164,612 passengers, and this ranks it as the world’s seventh busiest, and Europe’s second largest, after London Heathrow. It is by far the largest and busiest in France. With over 525,000 aircraft movements in the previous year, in this category, it is ranked as the tenth busiest in the world, and the busiest in Europe. Paris Charles de Gaulle is also the most important airport in Europe in terms of cargo movements, as it handles over 2 million metric tonnes per annum.
The airport is a major hub for the airline carriers of Air France, Delta Air Lines, Easyjet and FedEx Express, and flights are offered by these airline companies and many others to more than 300 destinations. The busiest destinations in April 2011 were recorded as Houari Bourne dienne in Algiers, John F. Kennedy International in New York, Heathrow in London, Dublin, Montréal-Trudeau International and Mohammed V International in Casablanca. Amsterdam, Rome-Fiumicino, Frankfurt and Milan-Malpensa were also not far behind. Included in the airport’s approximate 170 regular airline carriers are KLM, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Flybe, Emirates, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Air Canada, Alitalia and Air Transat.
The terminal buildings are somewhat fantastic, and all feature unique designs, predominantly by Paul Andreu. Terminal 1 is the largest and oldest of the buildings, and their famous ‘octopus’ designs, as well as its tangle of escalators arranged in the centre of the building have been used in many film productions. It has a main central building, seven satellites for boarding operations, and each floor of the building is dedicated to certain functions. The first floor is not used by the public, as it is for technical operations, but the second floor has shops and restaurants, the third floor the majority of the check-in counters (with access to taxi and bus transport) and the fourth floor has duty-free stores, border control posts and provides access to the satellite buildings, with various underground and moving walkways. The baggage reclaim areas and customs offices are found on the fifth floor, as well as the arrival area and exits of the building. Although a magnificent building, there were some flaws found in its design, and therefore more traditional buildings were built in the future.
Terminal 2 was initially built for Air France, but is now home to many airline carriers, as it has been expanded on numerous occasions to now consist of multiple terminals. These terminals are all joined by ground-level or below ground-level passageways, and are known as 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F and 2G, which is a separate terminal building located 2.5 km from the terminals 2A to 2F. Terminal 2 also has an RER and TGV railway station, referred to as the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 – TVG. Terminal 3 is just a single building, and is located approximately a kilometre from Terminal 1. Charter and low-cost airline carriers use this terminal. The CDGVAL, automatic light rail shuttle, and several buses link all terminals. Charles De Gaulle Airport also features Roissypôle, which is a complex of shopping areas, office buildings and hotels, and all terminals are well equipped with banking and currency exchange services, health centres and pharmacies, post offices, business workstations, prayer rooms and various services and facilities for disabled passengers and families with young children.
The most recent developments at the airport have been the construction of terminal 2G, operational March 2009, and the 750 metre long Satellite 3, or S3, just east of the Terminals 2E and 2F. This extension has provided more jetways for the larger Airbus 380 aircraft now used frequently around the world. The re-construction of Terminal 2E was also necessary, after its unexpected collapse in May 2004, which killed four people and injured three more. No specific fault was found, but it did begin with a rather daring design and wide open spaces. The whole area of Terminal 2E’s ‘jetty’ was demolished and rebuilt with a more traditional steel and glass structure. In the nearby future, Satellite 4 will be completed adjacent to S3, and should be operational by later 2012. This extension will be used by long-haul flights, and will have the potential to increase the airport’s capacity by 7.8 million passengers per annum. All the Skyteam airlines will then also move to the terminals 2E, 2Fand 2G, while 2F will be used solely for Schengen area flights. New pathways will be built between terminals 2A and 2C, and between 2E and 2F, and terminal 2B is scheduled for a major renovation. Terminal 2D will be followed with a complete reconstruction.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is managed by the authority of Aéroports de Paris (ADP), which is a company that also manages the other two major airports in the city (Orly and Le Bourget) and Marsa Alam in Egypt. The information is available from various sources online, including the official website, and from the information desks within all the terminal buildings.
CDG is the official IATA code for the airport. It is also known as simply Charles De Gaulle Airport. It is possible to enter the following GPS coordinates 49.01667, 2.55000 to aid you in your travelling.
Find below a choice of Airlines, destination and flight times.
|London Heathrow (LHR)||117||346 Km (215 Miles)|
|Frankfurt (FRA)||111||447 Km (278 Miles)|
|Munich (MUC)||98||681 Km (423 Miles)|
|Milan Malpensa (MXP)||92||599 Km (372 Miles)|
|Madrid (MAD)||91||1,066 Km (662 Miles)|
|Rome Fiumicino (FCO)||89||1,101 Km (684 Miles)|
|Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)||87||398 Km (247 Miles)|
|Zurich (ZRH)||78||476 Km (296 Miles)|
|Prague (PRG)||76||864 Km (537 Miles)|
|Vienna Schwechat (VIE)||71||1,035 Km (643 Miles)|
Visitor Information - Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport
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